On June 12, Bootup Entrepreneurial Society hosted our last #hurrah to celebrate the past three years and say thank you to our many supporters, advisors, and all of the entrepreneurs, who hustle hard everyday to build something that matters in Vancouver.
I didn’t get a chance to say all of the things I wanted to last night. So, if you will indulge me, here goes…
It’s in Our Blood.
One of the questions I was frequently asked over the past three years was why were we doing this? If you are an entrepreneur, you will understand my answer was quite simple: From our amazing board and mentors to our GSD organizing committee, we were and forever will be entrepreneurs. And when you have risked it all and sold your house to seed fund your startup, helping other entrepreneurs is just part of your DNA.
You start to see that the word “entrepreneur” is a personality. It’s difficult to talk to your friends that are not risking the same things you are, because they are content with not pushing themselves or putting it all out there in the public with the likelihood of failure staring at them every day. You start to turn a lot of your conversations with relatives into how they might exploit opportunities for profit. Those close to you will view your focus as something completely different because they don’t understand. You don’t blame them. They can’t understand if they haven’t done it themselves. It’s why you will gravitate towards other entrepreneurs. You will find reward in helping other entrepreneurs.
Finding reward in helping other entrepreneurs was at the heart of everything we did at Bootup. One day last March, I recall looking around Bootup and noting an international mix of entrepreneurs from Belgium, Czechlovakia, England, Singapore, Canada, and the US, working out of our office. I kid you not. I loved that they felt welcome at Bootup and that many of them were choosing to start their companies here, in Vancouver. It was a very cool moment for me and something you can’t really quantify.
By the Numbers.
I have worked with and met some incredibly talented people and I am really proud of what we have accomplished over the past three years. While there are many things I can’t quantify or measure, I can tell you that our team:
- Organized 100 startup events and supported many others like Metabridge and Grow Conference.
- Welcomed 10,000 attendees
- Launched 95 companies
- Hosted more than 30 startup talks with experienced mentors like Brad Feld, Dan Martell, Mike Macadaan, Paul Kedrosky, Dave Olson, Guy Kawasaki, Jonathan Ehrlich, Matt Galligan, Tom Higgins, Patrick Lor and many others
- Launched Bootup Garage Pilot Program and had over 40 signups
- Worked with 40 Local Mentors and hosted regular office hours at Bootup including Boris Wertz, Jason Bailey, Ryan Holmes, Dennis Pilarinos, Danny Robinson, Milun Tesovic, and David Ascher to name a few
- Brought 8 startups to SF on a road trip to pitch Valley VCs
- Many thanks to Boris Wertz, Keith Spencer, Stewart Butterfield, Sean Hodgins, Sonia Ryan, Danny Robinson and Boris Mann – who have been by my side since the beginning and have given so much to the Vancouver startup community.
- Thank you to our awesome community organizers, particularly Derek Shanahan, Mack Flavelle, and Angela Baldonero, who have always delivered and have been a great resource to other entrepreneurs.
- Thank you to all of our sponsors, who stepped up and supported our efforts.
- And thank you to our wonderful mentors, who gave so much more than just their time.
- Launch Academy a collaborative community space for tech founders and hackers was founded by Ray Walia, Jesse Heaslip and Roger Patterson. It is everything that Bootup Garage aspired to be and they are just getting started. If you are looking for a place to start your company and learn from the best, you should apply now. Their space is presently located in the GrowLab open office. We need this in Vancouver. Support this and get involved.
- VanPixelCrafters is a community driven organization recently founded by Boris Mann and Mack Flavelle. Boris and Mack have been organizing popular tech events like Democamp, Lean Startup talks and HackVan since I have known them. Vanpixelcraft will continue to put on community tech events targeted at the web, software, and design craftspeople of Vancouver and share your startup stories on their blog. If you want to help out or contribute, you should get at them.